7/10: Would bang.
That's how a friend of mine who frequents 4chan describes me. In other words, pretty enough for a night of (probably intoxicated) sex, but not truly attractive.
Which leads me to my question: Is the Internet bad for women? I believe that it is.
When meeting someone in a normal, offline context, a variety of factors come in to play when deciding how attractive he or she is. The sound of someone's voice, his or her mannerisms, even scent come into play. That is how people sized each other up for thousands of years before they began meeting online. On the Internet, where communication is stripped of every form of sensory input but the visual element, looks are everything.
For the >95 percent of women who aren't nines or tens, this leaves us feeling obsolete and unwanted.
Anyone who gives the Classics more than a cursory reading can see how persistent the ideal of feminine beauty has been in Western culture since ancient times. However, in an age when communication takes place primarily through a visual medium like the Internet for many people, ideals of beauty and technology combine to create an artificial environment which is toxic to women's mental health.
On the Internet, a woman isn't just comparing herself to the prettiest woman on the block or in her social circle, she's up against potentially every other woman in the world who has an Internet connection. The sheer volume of competition makes it likely that she will encounter someone against whom she feels she doesn't “stack up.”
Anyone who looks at Victorian pornography will notice that the women pictured virtually never meet today's standards of beauty. They aren't tanned, they haven't meticulously stripped away all of their body hair, they often have stomach rolls. Mata Hari, who was considered very desirable in her day, would not be considered beautiful by today's standards.
The fact that images are so easily reproducible today has led to the homogenization of beauty and an environment in which the vast majority of men admire only one type of “look.” This cannot do anything but lead women to become preoccupied with meeting an unattainable standard and diverting their energies from more productive endeavors.
Any woman who values her mental health will not spend too much time online.